Updated date:

Top 10 Fun Things to Do in Prince Edward County, Ontario

Mary loves to travel and shares her discoveries about the places she found fascinating.

Prince Edward County

Heading north of Ontario for holidays all these years, I decided to visit the eastern part of Ontario last week, and was I surprised? It was a delightful experience. I have heard of Prince Edward County for years now but have not arranged a visit as travel to other countries seems to beckon our interest. However, because of COVID, travel overseas is something we avoid. Instead, we looked at the province and the exciting places to visit. The one that caught my fancy was Prince Edward County.

Where Prince Edward County Is

Prince Edward County

Prince Edward County

Trip to Prince Edward County

Last year, our grandson proposed to his girlfriend here, so my interest went to a peak. I mentioned this to some friends, and one of them readily volunteered to bring me as she has been there often, and one of her friends has a charming BandB in the area. She went on that this friend is a painter and that her place is also a gallery. As I dabbled on painting myself, I was curious. So, one Monday morning, off we went towards Prince Edward County. We planned to stay for three days, and the weather was perfect.

We left Toronto at a decent hour, knowing that we could make stops at some of the quaint little towns on the way. The drive is just a little over two hours. We made a fascinating stop at Herma's Fine Foods and Gifts, a store in the middle of a cornfield on Highway 28 between Port Hope and Peterborough, Ontario. We spent time there delighted at the unique gifts displayed, the artisanal cheeses, sauces, jams, and meats. But the gift display caught our fancy as they were not only beautiful but also of high quality. We spent some time and money there but came out satisfied. The owner even gave us each a packet of the local chocolate.

Lake Ontario

Prince Edward County on Lake Ontario

Prince Edward County on Lake Ontario

Prince Edward County Map

The Town and Villages of Prince Edward County

Onward to Prince Edward Country, we decided to take the country roads passing by places like Port Hope and other smaller towns. It was a much more pleasant journey than taking the big highway. Big highways transport goods quickly, so they're busy with the traffic of big trucks. You hardly see interesting places like a farmer's stand or a local bakery or a flower farm. You will find fascinating historical sights like an old church, an ancient settlement, or a marker for an abandoned town if you're lucky. The scenery is more captivating and offers variety.

Located on about 800 km of shoreline on Lake Ontario's northeastern shore, Prince Edward County has a population of about 24,735 (2016) but is forecast to double this in the next few years. It is truly one of Canada's eight great escapes (Maclean Magazine). The county consists of Picton, Bloomfield and Wellington, and the townships of Ameliasburgh, Athol, Hallowell, Hillier, North Marysburgh, Sophiasburgh, and South Marysburgh.

We stayed in Wellington, where my visiting companion has friends in the community. They lived in Toronto, and some of them even still have a place in the big city. They represent most of the county's population who have brought the city's urban flair to the county.

Prince Edward County Homes

Heritage House in Prince Edward County

Heritage House in Prince Edward County

Where to Stay in Prince Edward County

There are many funky hotels and well designed and decorated homes for rent in the County. We chose to stay at the B&B of Pam Carter, an oil painter.

The BandB we stayed in is also an art gallery. The gallery's top floor has two suites with a sitting room, so each of us enjoyed a place and shared the sitting room for tea and conversation. The owner/artist is a very active lady in her seventies. She taught art before she decided to be a full-time artist, and today, she has this gallery and participates in the major art shows in Toronto.

Pamela Carter Gallery

Pam Carter Gallery

Pam Carter Gallery

Sandbanks Provincial Park

Sandbanks Provincial Park

Sandbanks Provincial Park

Top Things to Do in Prince Edward County

Prince Edward County is not cheap, but it offers so much to visitors. Here are some of the things I enjoyed in my latest stay:

  1. Visit Picton, Bloomfield, and Wellington and explore the quaint stores, restaurants, and museums. There are several fascinating tiny museums to show the history of the place.
  2. Enjoy a swim or walk in the Sandbanks Provincial Park. When we went this time, the kids are enjoying a swim in the shallow waters, and many are stepping up the towering limestone cliffs. Aside from swimming and hiking on its several trails, the Park also offers camping, fishing, canoeing, boating, birding, and biking through country trails. There are educational and fun programs that you can check on the Park website for specific offerings at the time of your visit.
  3. Visit the growing wineries and breweries, around 40 of them, and do a tasting and meal. We happened to be close to Huff Wineries one day, so we had lunch of their thin crust pizza and a taste of their rose. We chose one, but the knowledgeable staff recommended another as she knows we like the dry ones. We enjoyed it so much we brought home a few bottles. Ontario wine has gone a long way from its pooh wine period and has produced some award-winning ones.
  4. Bask in the morning sun as you walk through the beaches. There's a beach close by wherever you stay in the county. Lake Ontario is a vast lake, so being on its shores is like being in an ocean. As many people's homes are not fenced in, please respect their privacy by sticking to the public roads going to the beach. Please avoid the temptation of going through their side or back yards to reach the beach.
  5. Visit local galleries and artisans. Several open their places to the public.
  6. Explore local stores for products made in the county. There is The Local Store on the way to the Sandbanks Provincial Park that is worth a visit. There are local products, works of local artisans, and antiques.
  7. Get entertained in the theatre. The productions are close to professional given that most of the county organizers and residents come from the big city of Toronto.
  8. Eat at the local restaurants, which will delight not just your palette but your eyes as well.
  9. Visit the Drake Hotel, an iconic boutique hotel in Wellington, and eat at the terrace overlooking Lake Ontario. It offers one of the best views of the lake.

Winery in Prince Edward County

Winery in Prince Edward County

Winery in Prince Edward County

Visiting Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada

Lake on the Mountain

Lake of the Mountain In Prince Edward County

Lake of the Mountain In Prince Edward County

Lake on the Mountain Restaurant - The Miller House

The Miller House

The Miller House

The 10th Top Thing to Do in Prince Edward County

10. Visit the Lake on the Mountain, a rare phenomenon, with a scenic view of Glenora.

Located about 62 meters above the Bay of Quinte, this unusual lake defies all known geographic and geological theories. Its website says it could be a collapsed doline, an odd feature in areas with limestone rock foundations. It has no visible water source. The native Mohawks referred to it as the Lake of the Gods, the dwelling of spirit to which they offered gifts for a successful crop. Early settlers thought the lake to be bottomless. Others that the lake led to an underground passage. The mystery continues to draw visitors to offer their thoughts.

Enjoy a meal at the Miller Restaurant, where you can view the scenery well. Because of COVID, it did not accept reservations, so the wait was long, but it was worth it. We ordered the charcuterie board and the local cider, which were impressive. The restaurant even sold us a baguette, which we needed to complete our planned dinner that evening.

Type of Traveler

Two Special Souvenirs of Prince Edward County

Pam Carter's Paintings

Pam Carter's Paintings

Looking Forward to Another Visit

We learned from this visit that you need to book your accommodation early, like months before your stay. We were there from Monday to Wednesday, but most places were closed on these days. The best days to go are Friday to Sunday. Reserve a not-so-busy Thursday or Monday for the wineries but find out their schedule.

You can take tours for the wineries that bring you around in a limo to drink as much as you want and not drive. It is best, though, to have your car so you can go quickly to different places to visit. Though the sites are not far from each other, there is no public transport.

It was my first visit to the county, but I am already planning my next stay and planned to bring my visitors, not from Canada, to see this remarkable place. We plan to go in the Spring next time to avoid the summer crowd. Also, in the Fall. However, we were lucky because though we were visitors, my companion had friends who lived locally and were very involved in the town events. Their recommendations and stories certainly enriched our visit.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Mary Norton

Comments

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on November 17, 2020:

It is cold in the winter and the best time to visit is spring or fall, but people still go in the winter. As long as you dress properly for the season, you still can enjoy the winter months.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on November 10, 2020:

Is it cold there in the winter? Is it a place to visit only in the spring and summer months? Just wondering what the winters are like there.

Blessings,

Denise

Nell Rose from England on November 09, 2020:

It definitely looks like an awesome place to visit! And I love the paintings you brought home with you.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on October 26, 2020:

Thank you Lantern. I'm glad you're visibly back here.

manatita44 from london on October 23, 2020:

I love that photo of you Mary. Your inner beauty and purity stands out. Shows also in these lovely photos of yours and your visit to Prince Edward County. Always a joy to see you doing something you once enjoyed so much with your 'hubbie.' God bless your noble Heart! - Lantern

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on October 19, 2020:

California is west and Ontario, Canada is on the eastern side. They are so many artists who have recently settled here.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on October 19, 2020:

I wasn't sure where this was until I backed up the map quite a bit. It is over on the east side of the continent (from where I am in California). It looks like a fun place to visit.

Blessings,

Denise

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on October 19, 2020:

Thanks, Robert.

Robert Sacchi on October 15, 2020:

It's good you were able to get out. Also good information about the changes because of COVID-19. Nice pictures too.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on October 09, 2020:

Yes, that cat is huge. Prince Edward County is right on Lake Ontario which is one of Canada's biggest lakes.

Ellen Gregory from Connecticut, USA on October 07, 2020:

I never thought of Prince Edward Island as a place with beautiful sandy beaches; something to think about. (And.....that is one great big cat in the photo!)

Sp Greaney from Ireland on October 05, 2020:

It's nice to read other peoples review of places that they have visited. I've never heard of this area but it looks like a lovely place to visit.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on October 04, 2020:

There are many places to explore locally and this is possible for now. Thanks for the visit, Li-Jen.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on October 04, 2020:

I hope so, Ann, and you must let me know.

Ann Carr from SW England on October 03, 2020:

This is all lovely! My partner has an old friend who lives in Ontario and I've always wanted to visit Canada. Who knows, we might manage to get there one day.

Ann

Li-Jen Hew on October 03, 2020:

Hi Mary, glad you are still motivated to explore places. That's inspiring. The pictures are wonderful and you make each visit worthwhile to go to , with your detailed explanation. Thanks for sharing!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on October 01, 2020:

Like you, we have occasionally purchased art while on vacation. It always provides great memories of our being in the various places when we look at them. Prince Edward Country offers such great scenery!

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on September 28, 2020:

Yes, it depends on what cold for us is. For those used to the cold, they swim in the lake in the Fall which I can’t do.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on September 27, 2020:

Fascinating details. Appears to be a cool and calm place. Must be very cold even in summers.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on September 24, 2020:

Thanks, Peggy. I usually get some works of artists each year. These are my purchases for the year. There's another one she is completing that I like of a woman looking out the window. She is still working on it.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 24, 2020:

Hi Mary,

I surmised that was probably the reason you were holding the paintings. They are both lovely. I particularly like the one with the cat, and that same cat is in the photo. It reminds me of our cat Dusty. He was about that same size and coloring.

Those paintings serve as a fun reminder of your stay at that B & B.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on September 24, 2020:

Good to know. Yes, there are many places worth visiting.

Dale Anderson from The High Seas on September 24, 2020:

Mary it sounds like you had a really great time and that is fantastic. I lived in Canada for a few years and know firsthand that there are many wonderful places to see there.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on September 23, 2020:

I wish you can visit one day, Devika. There are many quaint towns to explore.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on September 23, 2020:

I had not visited before as it was still not on the radar of travelers but now many city dwellers have moved to the county, and its being on the shore of Lake Ontario, it has risen in popularity the past few years.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on September 23, 2020:

Yes, you are quite close but local friends told us to book way ahead of your trip, and Spring or Fall is less likely to be crowded.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on September 23, 2020:

I'm glad you enjoyed it as we honestly had so much fun.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 23, 2020:

Mary This is amazing! Photos of a unique place. Ontario sounds a hidden attraction to many and you shared a lot with us. Great to see your side of the world and what better write to have.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on September 22, 2020:

Your photos are beautiful and your descriptions are very interesting. I wish I had visited Prince Edward County when I lived in the eastern part Canada. It sounds and looks like a lovely place to explore.

Nella DiCarlo from Guelph, Ontario on September 22, 2020:

I really enjoyed the article and look forward to visiting Prince Edward county, being a few hours drive away it will take some planning for such a popular destination and your tips are helpful!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 22, 2020:

It was refreshing following you around in Prince Edward County. The views in nature, the theater productions, the food and wine are sure to make the trip enjoyable. Thanks for the outing!.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on September 22, 2020:

Peggy, I did. Those two paintings in the last picture. I held one and the artist had the other.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 22, 2020:

Thanks for taking us on this delightful journey to Prince Edward County. I would love to follow in your footsteps and stay at that B & B, visit the winery, etc. Did you purchase a painting?

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on September 22, 2020:

I am sorry, Denise. It is not. That place is also lovely. That is Prince Edward Island, one of the provinces of Canada. This county is in the province of Ontario.

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on September 22, 2020:

Thanks, Heidi. When we were there having coffee one morning, the theatre guy came and gave us a postcard he made to promote the plays. You meet interesting people in this place, and that is part of the experience. I hope when the border opens, we can travel easily again between our two countries.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on September 22, 2020:

How beautiful. I would love to go with you someday! Is this the Prince Edward Country of the Anne of Green Gables lore or is that island somewhere else? Just wondering.

Blessings,

Denise

Heidi Thorne from Chicago Area on September 22, 2020:

This looks like my kind of place! Actually, it kind of reminds me a bit of the Mackinac Island area. Maybe one day when travel becomes a thing again.

Thanks for sharing this charming place!

Mary Norton (author) from Ontario, Canada on September 22, 2020:

Thank you so much for reading this article. Prince Edward County has become a favorite for family and friends. Bill, thanks for the help with this article. Lorna, Ottawa is also a beautiful city. We lived there for more than ten years and there are many quaint villages to explore both in the Ontario and Quebec sides. Chitrangada, I hope you will have a chance to visit. The Miller House and Lake on the Mountain where it is located is indeed a must-see. BilldG, it will be a great drive for you but for now, the borders are closed. Flourish, the gift shops were very tempting and the artwork of the many artists who moved here is stunning. I brought home those two paintings.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 22, 2020:

Sounds like a wonderful roadtrip, Mary! Thanks for taking us along with you. I'm always up for an adventure. :)

Lorna Lamon on September 22, 2020:

This sounds like a fascinating and wonderful trip Mary, with the added bonus of good company. The scenery is beautiful with lots to see and do. My Aunt has lived in Ottawa for many years and I enjoyed a visit to this lovely part of the world a few years ago. Wonderful photos and great souvenirs. An enjoyable read, and thank you for sharing.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on September 22, 2020:

Excellent article about The Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada.

Loved going through your beautiful pictures and related information. Definitely, would love to visit this some day. The Heritage house and the Miller house looks so inviting and beautiful. Loved the art work as well.

I like knowing about other countries and their people. And, your article is a wonderful virtual tour, with relevant details.

Many thanks for sharing this well presented article.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on September 21, 2020:

What a nice review, Mary. We have never been to this area but it looks like it could be done from here in southern New England by car. The scenery is beautiful and there looks to be plenty to do and see. We are always looking for new, interesting areas to explore.

FlourishAnyway from USA on September 21, 2020:

I want to travel so badly but am stuck am home with the pandemic. This place looks beautiful and I would jump in in a minute if it were nearby. The architecture, the art, the gift shops along the way, and that cat in the last photo really tops it off! How much more perfect could this be?